Welcome back to Judge of the Week! Our next rock star is an IT agent that enjoys Commander and Sealed, and would prefer people just leave lands alone! Say hello to Todd Bussey!
Name: Todd Bussey
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Judge Start Date: July 2013
Occupation: I’m an IT Agent for the federal government and before that a software support analyst for accounting software
Favorite card: Maelstrom Nexus
Least favorite card: Stone Rain and other land destruction cards (Armageddon, Strip Mine, etc.)
Favorite format: Sealed (such as pre-releases or Magic Online Closed Beta Sealed.)
Commander General: one of Garza Zol, Plague Queen; Phage the Untouchable; or Progenitus.
Favorite non-Magic Game: World of Tanks (action videogame),EASports NHL series (sport videogame), D&D 5th Edition (RPG), Balderdash (party game), Blood Bowl Team Manager (boardgame)
Best tournament result: (IRL) M11 pre-release, I finished 12th out of 24 players with a 2-1-2 record.
(Online) 2nd in a Scars of Mirrodin pre-release queue event.
Random fact about yourself: Besides judging Magic events, I also DJ club nights in the goth/alternative scene.
Why do you Judge?
I was drawn to judging as a way to explore the practical side of the rules.
Tell us your favorite Judge story.
The Pro Tour was in Vancouver and I was visiting to watch all the L3+ judges in action. It was really surreal to meet in person several judges that I admire.
What are some tips you have for other Judges?
1) Show confidence, even if inside you’re freaking out
2) Take your time with a ruling, it’s easy to miss something important
What is your favorite non-judging moment that happened with other Judges ?
Following GP Vancouver 2015, we went to the Storm Crow on Commercial Drive and Gavin purchased a set of all 20 shots on the d20 Roll-a-Shot table and 20 judges lined up to down the shots. It was interesting to see one’s compatriots in an inebriated state after seeing them all serious on the GP floor.
What challenges have you faced or are you facing to become a better judge, and how have you worked to overcome them.
I’m naturally introverted so the overt charismatic leadership of judging is foreign to me. I also was diagnosed a few years ago with mild Asperger’s syndrome autism which sometimes makes it difficult for me to see the forest when I’m focused on the trees. Sometimes I miss subtleties and take things too literally. I’m still learning the ropes of the bigger events. I need to practice my speed on deck checks.
Who have been some of your biggest mentors in the Judge Program, and what did they teach you?
Rules-wise, I learned by lurking in the now defunct Wizards Rules Q&A forum, especially from Callum Milne, Nathan Long, Carsten Haese, Eli Shiffrin, Josh Stansfield, Abe Corson, Nelson Mendoza Moral and several people online.
Policy-wise, I learned a lot from Niko Skartvedt, Toby Elliott, Riki Hayashi, Darren Gamble, Michael Nixon and Will Laycraft.
What positive aspects has the Judge Program contributed to your everyday life?
It’s taught me the importance of practical application over theory. I’ve learned how to be more confident in other areas of my life. I’ve learned to trust my instincts more when observable evidence is inconclusive.
What is your favorite non-Magic hobby?
Playing games. Close seconds are politics, DJing and goth culture.
How did you get involved in Magic in the first place?
The first time was in the summer of 1993, my friends came back from GenCon raving about this card game that everyone was playing there. I wasn’t as smitten as they were, but they lent me cards to build a deck with and I played a few times with them.
Fast forward three years, some co-workers were playing Magic and I joined in and bought some cards. However, after a job change I lost contact with them and I traded my collection in for booster packs of Jyhad/Vampire:the Eternal Struggle.
In 2000, I started going out with a girl who had “inherited” a collection of Magic cards from a former boyfriend. She and some of her friends played and once again I was drawn back in. After some disputes of the rules, I went online to learn the rules and I’ve been involved in Magic casually ever since.
If you could chat with one person, real or fictional, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Mark Gottlieb, to apologize for arguing with him online about how Emblazoned Golem and affinity is not a valid rules exploit, when I know now that it is. Also, to join his wombat army. Lesson: arguing with the rules manager is futile.
If you were a Planeswalker, what would be your ultimate?
Reveal your library to all players. Target opponent chooses five nonland cards with different names from it. Exile the chosen cards. You may cast those cards without paying their mana cost for as long as they remain exiled. Shuffle your library.
“Choose the form of The Destructor!”
Proudest moment of your Judge life?
Getting to level 2 and having my wife at the judge dinner to celebrate the feat.
What character in Magic (real or fictional) represents you the best, and why?
Experiment Kraj. I’m best utilized surrounded by a team. I can take advantage of an enemy’s strength. Some would say I’m an experiment and have a lot of potential. My actions make others better. I’m legendary and who wouldn’t want to be a mutant ooze?
Two Truths and a Lie
Two of the following statements are true and one is false. Figure out which!
- I spent 14 hours in jail after being charged with assault and during the incident police officers shot my car and my dog (she survived).
- I have no piercings or tattoos.
- Kevin Smith and I are close friends and we met while he was at film school in Vancouver.
If there is a judge who is also doing something exemplary, please nominate a judge TODAY!